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104. Conservatory of Music Library (1988- )


By the 1950s, the Conservatory of Music faculty and administration sought to replace the outdated Warner and Rice halls with new facilities for its programs in order to meet modern principles of musical instruction. The holdings of the Conservatory’s music library were spread among the College Library, the Gehrkens Music Education Library in the basement of Rice Hall, and its own library in Warner Hall. Consolidation of these resources led to the construction of a new Conservatory of Music complex, designed by Detroit architect Minoru Yamasaki and dedicated in October, 1964. Located on the southeast corner of W. College and Professor Sts. (kitty-corner from the old site of Warner Hall), the new Conservatory complex encloses a courtyard and reflecting pool. Surrounding buildings include Bibbins Hall (facing W. College St. and Tappan Square), the main teaching, administrative and faculty office unit; the Central Unit, which houses the Conservatory Library, classrooms and equipment storage facilities; Robertson Hall, named for former Conservatory Director David Robertson (1911-1961)—a prime force behind the drive for new facilities—serves as a practice building; and Warner Concert Hall, which opens onto S. Professor St. and houses a grand 44-stop Flentrop organ. The Conservatory of Music’s exterior design is of steel-reinforced quartz-aggregate facades. Although aesthetically beautiful, the complex suffers from interior design flaws which have challenged school administrators with a continuous stream of acoustical and structural design renovations. A 10,000 square-foot addition to the Conservatory’s library, designed by Gunnar Birkerts and overlooking S. Professor St., was completed and dedicated in September, 1988.


"Oberlin College Archives | Published Resources | Architectural Records Guide | Group 10." College of Arts and Sciences & Conservatory of Music - Oberlin College.
        Web. 26 Aug. 2010. http://www.oberlin.edu/archive/resources/architecture/group10.html.

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